I am a newbie here...someone from ProPilot suggested I ask you my questions...
I am about a year out from retirement from the AF and have a great desire to fly for Air New Zealand! Like you, I am married to a Kiwi. I am about to start the process of establishing my permanent residency. Air NZ has sent an application to me. I'd like to send copy along with my application. How long should I expect to this process to take? I will be down in NZ this June for the birth of our third Kiwi and was hoping to work it while I was there. Can you offer me any tips or advice?
Also, should I be fortunate enough to be granted an interview are there any preperation tips you can reccommend. It sounds unlike any process I have heard of around here. Would you mind summerizing the process?
BTW Do you know Mark Brown? If so, please say hello from JD
Thanks in advance?
Last edited by Tweet46; 04-12-2007 at 05:42 AM.
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Thanks Mayfly...Had a good friend who flew an Aussie as well...He is now living very happily downunder!
I would never give up my citizenship but would love to be able to raise my kids in the "Land of The Long White Cloud"!! Wife and both kids are dual citizens and another one due in June. I need to move there just to save airfares. LOL
Good Luck to you! I would love to share info with you as we go through the process
"When My Ship Comes In, I'll Probably Be At The Airport"
Sorry I didn't get back sooner, just home from NRT.
I'll go over Air NZ, then what I know about Pac Blue. Freedom is Air NZ pretty much, they can hire something like 1 pilot per 4 for Air NZ (only for the A320, or ZEAL320 as all A320 flying owned by Air NZ is now known), but the contract is pretty much the same, the pilots get along with the big wigs pretty well so really I don't see too much drama there. Air NZ and Freedom drivers wear the same uniform now, but can't fly together; very confusing and I stay out of it. No hiring for Freedom for the distant future but a fair bit for Air NZ in the not too distant future. Just picked up 12 new hires and I can see quite a few more by years end if everything works out.
The way I did it with Air NZ was to start applying when my wife (said Kiwi) and i decided to move to Godzone permanently. I was unacceptable until I had my permanent residence in my hand, but flew for a company called Air Chathams on the CV580. The minute I recieved my PR Visa I updated my application with a big "Change: Permanent residence" on the front of the envelope. I got the call shortly there after. I was pretty luck actually in that the phone call came on a Thursday for an interview on the weekend, did the three day interview (I'll get to that) had the 'yes' letter on Wednesday and a B767 course date on the Thursday. Most guy's sit on yes letters for between three months and two years.
Don't worry about your citizenship as you can live and work here forever with a PR Visa. And the US passport is a plus (in my case the Canadian; go NAFTA!) as you don't have to mess around with the US crew Visa. They actually mentioned this as a possitive thing during the interview.
I got my work visa pretty quick (if you go that way let me know as I have some very, very, very usefull advice), and had the app in for the PR Visa at the same time. Looking at my passport now they gave me my work Visa on the 02 March 04, and I got my PR Visa 10 March 05; so pretty much one year. You may be different if you are applying from overseas before-hand. I really don't know from that angle so best to ask Immigration.
The interview is three days. Day 1 is a sit down with one of the hiring comitee, who is always a line pilot (FO, SO, Skipper) to go over your papers; log book, licences, school certs, military record (which they will want to see if you have one) etc. Make sure you're legitimate. You then do a one hour performance/flight planning test. Apparently no right answer, but I suggest you get it pretty close. Basically they give you easy round figures (no calculators) and say you are going JFK-LAX, have to divert and give you a number of options (ORD/LOS/MSP). Give you crew duty times, airport opening hours, maintenance and fuel availability, spare crew etc. Then you fill out a basic nav log, and they look at that along with your rough work. They want to see what kind of decisions you are going to make and why, so in my opinion there is a correct answer.
Then it's the sim after lunch. They use the B744 full flight. Very relaxed. They ask you if you have prepared for the sim beforehand with any outside sim time. They take into account that most guy's have not (in my intakes case). Don't lie as they will find out. Again, I'd want to be at my best as they say it's no big deal but I think it's just to calm you down. Take off from AKL and head south. Track inbound to a beacon, couple 30 deg turns followed by a couple 45 deg turns. Freaze the sim and ask you where you are. Pick up bearing inbound to another beacon for a hold. Descent and ILS into AKL with a visual landing. You'll know how well you are doing by how low they set the minimums. Great guy's and the pilot in the right seat is very much there to help you out.
Next day is the panel interview with two line pilots. Very relaxed I found but I heard from the guys they interviewed with less time/FO's that they asked a few harder questions (They also ask you what fleet you would prefer and they do try to give you what you want if they can). Mine was just a sit down chat with the boy's. Their main concern at this point is how well they can handle you for twelve day TOD's and 14 hour legs, and if you are full of it or not. They stress from start to finish that you are hired by the time you get to the interview stage; it's up to you to un-hire yourself, mostly by proving that you are not who your application/resume says you are. Again, they have way's of finding out so it is in your best interests to be brutally honest. Myself and another guy there both had bad accidents, as did one of the interviewers. No biggie, just make sure anything like that is explained honestly and in full. That said, they don't hire people who they think are going to break airplanes or scare passengers. After that it was a number of group exercises, mainly to make sure you were not an overbearing a-hole or a meak non-participant single tasker.
Third day is the phsyche eval. Very easy going sit down with a professor from the Auckland U. After that a meet and greet with the fleet captains and the chief pilot. THEY MAKE THE FINAL DECISION. Actually straight after you talk to them. The weekends work is presented to them with a recommendation, which they take very seriously, from the hiring comittee.
The company would like to see a number of our B767 guys take LWOP and come back around 2010 when we will be expanding with the 787's. They have advertised that they require over 30 S/O positions filled this year, plus a number of Capt. and FO positions on the 744. With the over 60 thing the retirements have slowed, but they should start to trickle back up in the next year so I recon we will be steadily hiring until 2010, when they will be doing the big push. New routes and expansion on existing routes this year look to keep us very busy on the B777. I'm averaging close to 90 hours per month.
As for Pac Blue, I will tell you what a mate of mine who is a training captain there told me. Virgin Blue is very short of pilots, around 50 I understand, so many of the guy's at Pac Blue, likely all the Aussies, are heading to OZ and Virgin. So they are hiring. The bases are Christchurch and Auckland. My friend had a bare type rating and the biggest thing he had flown was a Metro III. Two and a half years later he was a training captain. There will also be a bunch more hiring in OZ as they bring on the ERJ's and they start the international operation with the B777's. Tiger is also moving into OZ, and a local F100 operator is getting four more birds. Jet Star should be making a big push as they start getting their 787's. All the Asian carriers and the usual suspects in the ME are getting desperate, which only compounds the shortage down here.
All that said, most of the drivers in my intake were at least TP captains and a number were heavy TP skippers with a couple jet FO's. Total time was 3000 to 7000 hours. I've read a silly thread on pprune regarding Air NZ and cadets. This is unlikely to ever happen for a couple reasons. The pilots do the hiring. With an average of 5000 hours and heavy TP command for intake FO's and FO's, why on earth would the company spend $250 odd grand per cadet? We're not that big so we will always have ample pilots with time to fill the seats.
On a personal note, I have to say that working here is really, really good. Very rarely will you fly with a pilot who has attitude. The fleet captains and CP are very approachable. I sent an email suggestion to the CEO and he emailed a very good, concise reply back within five minutes; at 2100. We aren't the best paid but we're also not the worst. The next contract is coming up and most expect it to be a non-issue. We are looking at a new route every year (good for an airline our size), and the balance sheet is looking good (we make a profit). Basically, I am hard pressed to find a pilot who isn't pretty happy, but they do exist and the company isn't perfect, but name me an airline that is.
Margaret Ecroyd is a great lady and the one who you will be dealing with up until and during the interview process. This isn't like Canada wher every CP of every Navajo op thinks you have to kiss his feet to get past the front door and will never take a phone call. If you are here definately try to get a hold of Margy and meet up with her if you can. She'll likely be very straight forward with you regarding the hiring.
Hope this all helps. Let me know if you have anything else specific that you want covered. Good luck with it.
Excuse my spelling and gramar, as good as the crew rest is in the 777 it didn't do much good last night; must have been the Asahi and gyoza.
Sorry MayFly. I wish I had picked this up in NRT as I flew back with David. He is the big decision maker, but he doesn't really deal with new hires until the end of the interviews. Margy is the person to keep contact with, and pilots from the hiring comittee screen apps. Basically it is a points system; time, types, post secondary education, military time, does anyone here know you and recommend you. If you score high then you'll likely get a call. Thay actually asked my wife about me when she was intervied one month before I got the call; she says it was all good thing's. . .
I cannot thank you enough!! I am amazed that you took the time to respond with such a thorough answer!! It was far beyound what I could ever expect, especially after returning from a long trip!
I am at a crossroads...not sure I could move the family to NZ unless I can walk into a decent paying job. I can only hope that my permanent residency won't take as long as yours did. My wife is currently visiting her family in Invercargill and is trying to make a few calls to the immigration folks. I am just hoping I can work on it while there and maybe speed things up. Otherwise I will try to get on with a carrier here and just keep my application current there.
After hearing your take on Air NZ I only want to be a part of that team even more!! I don't think I've ever heard someone who sounds as pleased with his company as you, except maybe for some FedEx buddies I know. It sounds like things are really looking up for the company and propsective pilots.
A few more questions if you don't mind...
With the following background do you think I would be competitve?
Aprrox 3500TT, 2751 PIC, 2154 PIC Turbine, 1900 Military Instructor (My turbine time was in C-130's, King Air C-90's and T-37's) FAA ATP, CFI, FE Written,
Unfortunately it has been awhile since I've flown the big stuff, lately it has all been SE, Day, VFR at the AF Academy. I will really need to polish up my technical skills before an interview.
My application showed up in the mail today and it asked about the BGT rating (Basic Gas Turbine I assume), How would I go about getting that? Do you think it would be possible to get the rating in the 3 weeks I will be in NZ in June?
Sorry to play 64 questions with you...You don't know how much I appreciate your help!! I would love to introduce myself and buy you a beer (or a bottle) while I am there.
"When My Ship Comes In, I'll Probably Be At The Airport"
Don't worry about the BGT as you don't require it if you've flown a turbine (just say yes if it's a question). It's for GA guy's looking to go fly a Metro as a first turbine job (your ATP and turbine time is better). You'll need to convert your ATPL eventually, but a number of the guy's who come from the military don't have it. It is nice as you go straight to fourth year pay after probation; twelve months at the company, (another) written test which is open book, a probation line check and sim check, plus they have a book which you need to have filled out with captain or training pilot feedback, preferably possitive. Sounds daunting but no worries as they prepare you very well.
I converted my Canadian ATPL straight over. You'll require 500 command or 1000 CO on a multi-crew aircraft, the regos of which must be on the ticket you are converting (N rego aircraft if you are converting with an FAA ticket, I think military country of civil issue counts but check that one), the license must be current, and then you do the Kiwi ATPL law written and a check ride. The type ride you'll do with your employer is fine, just get a check airman that can give ATPL's. Otherwise get a commercial and do the full Kiwi ATPL. That's lot's of exams mate (seven?, I'll ask my wife), totally non-sensical just like the JAR, so well worth being able to convert your foreign ticket.
You are correct about polishing certain technical skills and knowlege. I forgot about the other exam, very technical and if you don't know what you are getting into it will not go well (as it did for a B737 skipper from the UK who was looking for a job). If you get the interview let me know and I'll make sure you get 100%, which frankly is what they want to see. Don't ask, just get in touch when the time comes. There are military guy's here though so that does help you out. You guy's must have some kind of secret hand shake or something.
If you can land a work permit you might want to look at Pacific Blue to get in the door. You'll need an Alteon NG rating on a Kiwi or Aussie license, but with that and your but in Godzone you'll be in very good steed. We have a Pac Blue guy coming to us on this round, so it would get you in the country on a jet making OK money. As long as Air NZ knows that the purpose is to get on with them they will look favourably at it (read, keep them informed of your intentions).
You're time is great JD, pretty much exactly what they are looking for, and if you are training guy's at the AF Academy then that will help your case greatly (they'd also take into account what you've been doing when you hit the sim). They really want you to be involved here so advanced training experience (airline/military) goes over very well. I was a training captain on the CV580 and it was mentioned in the panel interview in a possitive light. I've been here just a year and a half and I've just been accepted as a LOSA auditor. They really do hire with the expectation that you be able to command in a years time, so as an SO you get legs where all the decisions are yours as far as flight planning and enroute flying. Unfortunately we do have this silly can't land thing, which is odd as they give you a full command type rating on your ticket, and, no kidding, keep you current with regular handling details in the sim. Guy's have made 737 left seat in under five years though, so I don't look at starting as an SO in too bad a light. You can go direct right seat on the 733 as well as the company considers it the same rank as SO.
Anyway, I'm rambling again, lack of sleap I think. I'm past the PNR for sleep now so I have to stay up and stay on a normal pattern. No worries about the post, I'm glad to help.
It is a great place to work and well worth the effort if you can figure out how to do it. I really can't emphasize that enough. I'm not a staunch company man by any means, but I know a good thing when I'm living it. Gotta have that PR Visa though, definately work on that as I recon you'd be at the top of the heap (I had the app and three updates over a year and a half to get the job). Invercargill? It was freezing there last night. We have pilots commuting from as far as Aussie so if you really wanted to live there. . .I prefer good old Auckland and the year round surfing.
Keep posting. You'll be able to PM me by the time you come down here so I can fill you in on some ways and means that I kep to the PM's and emails.